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SOCIAL WORK ASSISTANT (SYRACUSE HOUSING AUTHORITY)
30350
(Competitive)


DISTINGUISHING FEATURES OF THE CLASS

The work involves responsibility for providing limited social work services for Syracuse Housing Authority residents and their families, and for clients of the Housing Options and Management for the Elderly (H.O.M.E.) program. Under the general supervision of an administrative superior, employees in this class are assigned to a unit within the Social and Community Services Department of the Syracuse Housing Authority (such as Social Work Services or the H.O.M.E. program) or to the Temporary Transfer Team of the Modernization Department. This position requires the employee to help persons with social, emotional, financial, family, housing and related problems and to meet with staff members from within the Housing Authority or from outside agencies to obtain assistance and guidance for clients. Employees provide service to people of all ages, cultural backgrounds and family composition and most are classified as low income.
This classification is distinguished from Social Worker (Syracuse Housing Authority) in the lesser level of responsibility in providing social work services. The classification is further distinguished from Social Work Assistant in that incumbents do not work in a health facility or health related setting.
Work is assigned and reviewed by a supervisor who may define or limit the work to be performed. Exercising supervision is not a function of this class. Certain assignments made to employees in this class will require reasonable access to transportation to meet field work requirements made in the ordinary course of business in a timely and efficient manner. Does related work as required.

TYPICAL WORK ACTIVITIES

Interviews clients and their families to assess needs, discern any problems and generally discuss their situation; interviews are usually conducted during a home visit.
Discusses various services and forms of assistance available in the community to assist client with specific problem.
Arranges for services from within the agency as well as with outside agencies, such as Meals-on-Wheels, Catholic Charities, etc. for clients who have need for such services.
Refers clients to appropriate community agencies, such as Legal Aid Society, Food Stamps, Medicaid, Social Security, Alcoholics Anonymous and other services by explaining how services work and who to contact.
Collects and maintains data from appropriate sources, such as professional staff and client's families to establish an overall approach to solution of client's social, emotional, housing and related problems.
Maintains information on community agencies and services, which can be utilized during client's present and future stress situations.
Serves as a client's advocate to obtain needed help and support services from within Syracuse Housing Authority as well as with outside agencies.
May provide long term supportive counseling in an individual or group setting; counseling consists mostly of listening and offering understanding and encouragement.
Follows up on referrals to insure that client receives requested services and problem has been or is in the process of being resolved.
Maintains case records on clients describing situation and steps taken to correct situation.
Meets with supervisor to discuss individual cases and obtain guidance in handling difficult situations.

FULL PERFORMANCE KNOWLEDGES, SKILLS, ABILITIES AND PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS

Good knowledge of practices and procedures of social work in a community services setting.
Working knowledge of the community agencies and their services and programs available to low income and/or elderly persons.
Working knowledge of the needs and problems associated with low income and elderly persons.
Working knowledge of Housing Authority operation and policies.
Ability to exercise good judgment in handling cases.
Ability to establish and maintain cooperative and effective relationships with public and private agencies, co-workers, and the general public, especially low income and elderly persons.
Ability to communicate effectively with others.
Ability to prepare case notes and reports.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

A. Graduation from a regionally accredited college or university or one accredited by the New York State Board of Regents to grant degrees with a baccalaureate degree in social work, counseling, human services or resources, sociology, psychology or a field closely related to the aforementioned; or,
B. Graduation from a regionally accredited college or university or one accredited by the New York State Board of Regents to grant degrees with an associate degree in social work, human services or resources or a field closely related to the human services field, and two (2) years of paraprofessional or professional level work experience, or its part time equivalent, in providing social work, case work or community services to individuals; or,
C. Four (4) years of paraprofessional or professional level work experience, or its part time equivalent, in providing social work, case work or community services to individuals; or,
D. An equivalent combination of training and experience as defined by the limits of (A), (B) and (C).


5/09 Revised